Jump directly to the content

Can Someone Give to the Church Using Bitcoin?

How churches should prepare for virtual currency.

Your church may be approached in the near future by a donor (probably a relatively young person) who wants to make a contribution using "bitcoin." What is bitcoin? Bitcoin is a popular "virtual currency" created for use in commerce. It is not a government-based currency. It might be appropriate to view bitcoin as something akin to frequent-flyer points that can be transferred freely in commerce in payment of obligations.

According to Wikipedia, bitcoin is:

an open source peer-to-peer electronic money and payment network introduced in 2009 by pseudonymous developer "Satoshi Nakamoto." Bitcoin has been called a cryptocurrency because it uses cryptography to secure transactions. Digitally signed payment messages are broadcast to and verified by a decentralized network of computers all over the world. Specialized computers use a proof-of-work system to prevent people from copying and spending the same bitcoin multiple times, a problem for digital currencies known as double-spending. The operators of these computers, known as "miners," are rewarded with transaction fees and newly minted bitcoins.

In order to transact business with bitcoin, the payor and payee must generally have virtual "wallets" (accounts). Coinbase is one company offering such a service. So, in order to accept a contribution of bitcoin, a church would need to establish a bitcoin account and have the transfer made to that account. Bitcoin may be converted to cash (U.S. dollars) by selling it using custodians such as Coinbase.

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

From Issue:

Related Resources

See All
from our store
Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts

Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts

Help your members give more by answering their charitable giving and tax law questions.
Church Fundraising Campaigns

Church Fundraising Campaigns

Discover tips on raising and borrowing money.
Financing a Church Building Project

Financing a Church Building Project

Answers to common questions on obtaining donations, loans, and grants.
Increase Giving at Church

Increase Giving at Church

Develop practical and digital strategies to cultivate a culture of giving.
Follow us:Church Law & Tax on FacebookChurch Law & Tax on TwitterChurch Law & Tax RSS FeedsChurch Law & Tax on Youtube